If you've read the public notices section of either the Glossop Chronicle or Buxton Advertiser this week, you will have seen the notice on the left around dog control orders.
As folk may recall from last year, consideration was given to introducing 'Dog Control Orders', and whilst it resolved that for the most controversial element of these orders around requiring dogs to be on a lead in parks and public spaces, that no further action be taken at this time, there was support for and a decision to continue on with some elements of the 'Dog Control Order's and the public notice in last weeks papers is about bringing those into place.
The notice in the papers is the 'formal' worded legal notice and along with the actual orders themselves (which is available by clicking draft dog control order here or from the receptions desks in Glossop or Buxton), aims to introduce subject to a formal period of public consultation (which ends on the 15th March) three parts of the dog control orders.
The first is the fouling of land by dogs, which is essentially updating the existing measure under which the council can fine people for not cleaning up dog fouling.
The second, the dogs on leads by direction will enable authorised officers of the council to require dogs on a lead only if it is necessary to stop a dog that is likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to any other person or the worrying or disturbance of any animal or bird.
The third and final is the Dog Exclusion order which would make it a fine-able offence for a dog (with various exceptions) to be on any enclosed children play area, multi use games areas, tennis courts bowling green or skate park, that's owned or in the control of the council. This order would also include any land marked for use as a football pitch, whether it's been used as a football pitch or not.
For the last element (football pitches), locals may recall when it was considered by the Community Select Committee that there was no firm view as to whether it should be included for the consultation, however when it went to the executive we concluded to add it to the consultation and will review its inclusion based on the responses received.
I can appreciate that at first glance, that the wording on the ‘public notice’ is not entirely helpful / clear, but despite how it may have come across on some news reports, it’s not the intention to punish good / responsible dog owners and ban dogs from parks entirely but it is the intention to ban them from kids play areas / equipment.
The new orders will add to the tools officers have to use to tackle bad / irresponsible dog owners by bringing up to date the legislation used to enable the council to fine people for allowing their dog to foul, banning dogs from some select areas and giving a measure of control to staff to require people to put their dog on a lead if causing a nuisance.
If you're effected by these proposals, it is a consultation so please get in touch, and don't forget to respond to the consultation, either by emailing email@example.com or by writing to David Smith, Community Safety Manager, High Peak Borough Council, Town Hall, Market Place, Buxton, SK17 6EL before the closing date of 4pm on the 15th March.